Sunday, July 22, 2007
Things are coming along nicely in the garden. The zinnias(left) are blooming. I've always liked these simple flowers because they are so colorful and happy. Plus, they're pretty hardy and easy to grow.
I also have a few shasta daisies, finally. These perennials are part of the 'sacred' garden where a few Catholic devotional statues are weathering away. They're a tribute to my grandma, Annie.
Here's another kind of blossom:
These are squash or zucchini blooms, growing in our compost pile. Normal people turn their compost pile regularly (with a pitchfork or something), to prevent seeds from germinating and provide aeration to the pile. This also encourages a more steady breakdown of the material and produces compost more quickly. Now that these giant plants are taking over our compost pile, we feel kind of badly about killing them. I'm not sure I plan to eat anything that actually grows in there, but, hey, maybe I'll change my mind.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
This year, we planted eggplant in our garden for the first time. We don't even cook eggplant much, but I wanted to see what it would be like to grow it.
We had great success with tomatoes, peppers, lettuces, and herbs last year. Things are looking good for those plants again this summer.
Our zucchini did well for one harvest and then the plants suddenly died around mid-August. Our cucumbers (which we've replaced this year with muskmelon) did okay, but, except for one or two, they never really grew big enough to eat.
We also planted asparagus, which is now in its second season. It will take a couple more years before we can harvest it. If we tried now, we'd have one teeny tiny piece, about the size and diameter of, hmm, the stylus from a Palm Pilot. So, yeah, not big.
Our herbs are by far the most successful (probably because they're ridiculously easy to grow, very hardy, and they multiply quickly). We have several varieties of basil, including a wonderful, citrus-y lime basil and a sweeter, anise-scented Thai Magic basil. Also, we have a giant bush of sage, lemon thyme, curly and also flat-leave parsley, rosemary, oregano, cilantro (now it's turning to coriander), chives, fennel, and dill. We could season pretty much anything! The trick will be to use all of these delicious herbs before they go to seed and also to learn how to properly freeze and/or dry them for use during the winter months.